How the world celebrated the arrival of 2020

Fireworks display in Dubai, London and Indonesia [Photo: Courtesy]

A huge fireworks display marked the New Year in London as revelers across the world chimed in 2020.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people watched a light and sound show in Paris and a crowd of around a million packed into New York's Times Square.

The city's entry into 2020 was marked by the annual fall of the Times Square Ball.

The ball, which is illuminated by 32,256 lights, lit up the Manhattan night sky, along with fireworks set off in nearby Central Park.

Revellers in New York's Times Square [Photo: ANGEL COLMENARES/EPA-EFE/REX]

Confetti filled Times Square as couples kissed and crowds screamed with joy as the decade came to an end.

Dubai also welcomed 2020 with pyrotechnics, fireworks, lasers and wingsuit flyers.

The cash-rich United Arab Emirates city splashed out after a million people descended on Downtown.

Celebrations reached Europe as Moscow rang in 2020 with fireworks in the Red Square at 9pm UK time.

Read Also: Strange reasons why Kenyans celebrate New Year

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his address to the nation on New Year’s and... It was quite something.

Fireworks explode in the sky during New Year's celebrations in Moscow, Russia [Photo: AFP via Getty Images]

In it he spoke of “our ancestors – the heroic, unyielding generation of victors” and congratulates “everyone who went through the most difficult trials for the sake of us and for the future of our country. I bow low before you.”

He ended by saying “Friends, the New Year is already knocking at the door. Let’s wish each other and our Motherland peace and prosperity.”

Hong Kong welcomed 2020 with neon-lit promenades - despite more massive rallies by protesters.

Authorities there cancelled the main midnight fireworks display for the first time in a decade, citing security concerns.

A "Symphony of Lights" took place instead, involving projections on the city's tallest skyscrapers, while smaller-scale pyrotechnics were launched from waterfront rooftops.

Read Also: Hip hip hooray! How Kenyans lose their decorum on New Year’s Eve

Spectacular firework displays were enjoyed elsewhere though, including in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and across both Koreas.

In Indonesia, while fireworks erupted over Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park in Bali, torrential rains threatened to make the celebrations a wash out in the capital of Jakarta. But tens of thousands of revellers ploughed on.

Fireworks illuminate the city's skyline during New Year's Eve celebrations on January 1, 2020 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia [Photo: Getty Images]

The island volcano of Anak Krakatau erupted earlier today, just as it did last year just before Christmas day, triggering a tsunami which killed hundreds of people.

This dampened New Year events along Indonesia’s coastal areas near the Sunda Strait today.

As in Hong Kong, thousands of Indians also planned to greet the New Year with protests.

They are angered by a citizenship law that they say will discriminate against Muslims and chip away at India’s secular constitution.

Read Also: How did you usher in the New Year?

Nevertheless, the new year Jasn a Bhopal 2020 in Bhopal India went off without a hitch.

And Sydney welcomed 2020 with a dazzling fireworks display as Australia's New Year's Eve celebrations took on a sombre tone amid the most devastating bush fire crisis ever.

Sydney's Opera House as fireworks explode on January 1, 2020 [Photo: AFP via Getty Images]

Sydney's harbourfront was cloaked in smoke as hundreds of thousands of revelers gathered to watch a 12-minute fireworks show that went ahead despite calls for it to be scrapped.

More than 270,000 people had signed an online petition urging the city to cancel the display out of respect and donate the money to the firefighting effort.


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